Interest in Chardonnay continues to grow, and Chateau Ste. Michelle is proceeding accordingly by increasing production by 6,000 cases of its pleasing, oak-influenced Indian Wells tier that relies on Wahluke Slope grapes. It is indeed luscious, yet fruity and balanced after six months of barrel aging. White winemaker David Rosenthal dialed down the new wood involved from 35% to 25% for the 2015 vintage, creating aromas and flavors of caramel corn, tropical fruit and vanilla with apple and pear notes. It finishes with a touch of toast, yet the judicious use of oak allows for a fleck of minerality, too. Chateau Ste. Michelle produces five styles of Chardonnay, and its culinary team suggests pairing the Indian Wells with foods such as Dungeness crab, pork, chicken and salmon that are influence by lemon zest, tarragon or thyme.
Production: 115,500 cases
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